Getting Ready to Build!

http://www.clipartof.com

http://www.clipartof.com

We have been working with an architect and an engineer to design our house plans, and were finally able to submit the plans to our building department last month.  They wanted a small fortune in building fees, but our biggest shock was the $8,500 + impact fee to our school district.  Holy cow, I think we just paid for half a classroom!

In the meantime, we have been getting bids for the final excavation and foundation work.

Wowza!

The estimates are much, much more than we anticipated.  The problem is that we are essentially building a three story structure, so the foundation under the basement is requiring 7 foot wide footings and a poured in place concrete wall 8” thick and 35’ long!  Holy Cannoli – we can’t afford that!  Especially since the concrete trucks are tacking on a premium to bring the concrete up the mountain to our property.  (Some silly thing about diesel costing a lot 😉 of money)

This is one version of the main floor of our house plans. I can't wait to live in this house!

This is one version of the main floor of our house plans. I can’t wait to live in this house!

Hmmmmm…  So, we thought long and hard about this.  Why do we want a basement?

  1. The back third was going to be walled off and turned into a root cellar.
  2. Storage – canned goods, household stuff and, of course, junk.
  3. A cool place to sit on a hot afternoon.

We decided (no brainer) we can always build a root cellar elsewhere.  Also, going up and down stairs when I am 85 years old to get my canned goods and stuff – well, let’s just say it’s not something I am looking forward to!  Besides, this is supposed to be our final forever home, and we need to have everything required for everyday living on one floor!  The upstairs only has two bedrooms and a bathroom, so I will only need to go up there when we have guests!

Therefore, we decided to send the plans back to the architect and engineer and nix the basement.  Besides, they had LOTS of changes to make for the county plan checker anyway. Let me tell you – California has some crazy codes that we must adhere to!  More about that later.  Now, if you look at the floor plan above, maybe we could turn the area where the stairs going down to the basement would have been into a nice long pantry? What do you think?  We will see what the architect says.

People warned us that this was a very long, frustrating process, and let me tell you…  they were so right!

This is what the Shelterworks Faswall block looks like.

This is what the Shelterworks Faswall block looks like.  You can see lots of beautiful homes built with these blocks on their website – which is also where I got this picture!  🙂

In the meantime, we have already purchased the Insulated Concrete Forms, or ICF.  We decided to go with a company called ShelterWorks and their product called FasWall.  We have done a lot of research for a few years now, and these FasWall ICFs are probably the easiest to work with, the most insect and fire resistant, and breathable insulated forms on the market today.  FasWall is also easier to build with because regular carpenter tools are used and, unlike the plastic ICF, you can actually screw or nail into the form at any place.  One more reason we were sold on FasWall is that the wood used in the form is made from mineralized and recycled shredded wood from old wooden pallets.  The ICFs are stacked together like Legos, with rebar placed vertically and horizontally within the cavity of the ICFs, and then concrete is poured into the cavity.  Essentially, this makes a waffle grid of concrete within the walls, and gives the effect of superior insulation and stability.

Doesn’t that sound fantastic?

It does cost a bit more (5-10%) to build a home with these forms than it does a stick built house.  However, the payback comes with the energy savings.  The houses built with these forms are solid, very energy efficient, almost sound-proof, and essentially pest (think termite, carpenter ant, mouse) proof!  Also, the fire resistance of these ICF walls is important when you consider that we are living in the middle of a forest here in Northern California, where wildfire is not at all uncommon.  We have been working with Paul Wood, one of Faswall’s representatives, who has been very helpful in getting our building plans moving forward.

This big old Douglas Fir just had to go. So sad. We wanted to use the wood in our house, but California code required that it be graded and certified by a professional - timely and costly. Yet another one of those "codes" run amuck!

This big old Douglas Fir just had to go. So sad. We wanted to use the wood in our house, but California code required that it be graded and certified by a professional – timely and costly. Yet another one of those “codes” run amuck!  Grrrrrrrrr…

In the meantime, we have been getting our building site ready.  We had some beetle killed trees that needed to come down, and a couple other smaller trees that were right where our living room will be, so they all had to go.  We had a massive Douglas Fir that we wanted to save (above), but sadly, after some excavating and figuring right where the house would go, we realized that it was going to be too close to the house for fire safety.  Not to mention the fact that it was leaning right toward where our master bedroom was to be.  Since the tree was too big for Ray’s chainsaw, we called in Clyde, a Professional and Licensed Logger to drop the tree for us.

The beginning of excavation to make a flat building site - first you have to remove the tree stumps!

The beginning of excavation to make a flat building site – first you have to remove the tree stumps!  These guys made it look too easy.

The initial excavation has also been done.  The excavators popped out the tree stumps we had cut, scraped the lot clean of brush, and then cut into the hillside a bit so that the land would be level.  They were wonderful to work with and very respectful of our property, keeping clear of the septic tank so they wouldn’t damage it.

All of the brush was piled into a huge pile, so later Ray and I burned most of it, and cut up for firewood what was large enough to bother with.  It took us several days to get that accomplished, and we were able to get the brush burned before our burning permits were restricted for the fire season.

This is our nice, level building spot! The orange tape on the stakes indicate where the septic tank is. We have been busy burning duff and forest debris, trying to get the house site "fire-safe". It sure is a lot of work!

This is our nice, level building spot! The orange tape on the stakes indicate where the septic tank is. We have been busy burning duff and forest debris, trying to get the house site “fire-safe”. It sure is a lot of work!  The ashes are about where the kitchen will be, and the trees will be the view looking south-east out our front windows!

We are also busy raking up the forest duff, pulling out small bushes and trees, and laddering up the trees that will remain, so that the immediate area thirty feet around our house will hopefully keep a wildfire from getting too close to our house, and help firefighters to defend it.  Nancy, from our county fire department, will be up soon to tell us how we are doing and what else we need to do to make our home fire safe. Unfortunately, getting homeowner’s insurance in our neck of the woods is nearly impossible, so we want to make our home as fire safe as possible!

So, wish us luck, send good thoughts, or even a few prayers that our architect and engineer don’t take too long to get the changes and corrections made to our plans!  I would really like to at least have our foundation poured this year – God willing!

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Sourdough Pasta

pasta made from sourdough starter

A bowl of chicken and rustic sourdough noodle soup with a side of buttered sourdough bread. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks!

Pasta has always been my “go-to” favorite for an easy, quick meal.  Of course, that was when I purchased the pasta, pasta sauce, the meat or cheese (or both) and spices!  Now that I know better and have more time, I have started canning my own pasta sauce, grinding my own beef and even growing and dehydrating my own spices!  Naturally, I also make my own pasta.  A couple of months ago I began experimenting with sourdough, and when I found a recipe on Cultures for Health for making sourdough pasta, I was all in!

how to make sourdough noodles

This is fresh out-of-the-refrigerator, hungry sourdough. Do you see that brownish liquid? That means this starter is HUNGRY!

My sourdough starter has performed very well.  When I first told people I wanted to try sourdough, I was given all kinds of dire warnings about how I would have to bake every week or the starter would die.  Well, I can tell you now from experience that I don’t have to make something with the starter every week – it hibernates just fine while in the refrigerator!  All I really have to do is feed it by stirring in some flour and water once a week, set it back in the fridge, and all is well! I even forgot it for a few weeks, but once fed and out of the fridge, it perked up just fine! 😀

how to make noodles out of sourdough starter

This is my expanding supply of sourdough starter, warm, fed and very, very happy!

Now that I have been experimenting with the sourdough starter for a while, when I plan a sourdough baking day, I make it worth my time!  Instead of throwing away half the sourdough (oh no) and feeding the rest, then repeating every 8-12 hours for at least three feedings, I save all of the sourdough and feed it all!  That way, I can make a lot of stuff with the sourdough!

pizza crust made from sourdough

This is the first batch of sourdough pizza crusts ready for the oven.

This last week I made a bunch (eight, to be specific, but who’s counting!) of sourdough pizza crusts, shaped into rectangles (it fits better on my baking sheets and in the freezer) and partially cooked them before I froze them for future meals. Sourdough pizza is really delicious!

Then I made some bread.  You can see this post on some of the first sourdough bread I made.  The olive and parmesan loaf is wonderful!  On this most recent epic sourdough day, I tried adding Italian flavoring to one loaf – oregano, basil and garlic – and it was really, REALLY good!  I will do that again!

♪♫♪♪ O sole mio ♫♪♫♫

So, let’s see – two loafs of bread, eight pizza crusts…   lots of sourdough starter left!

Hmmm…

Now what…

That’s when I went to the Cultures for Health website and saw it…   Pasta!

I won’t go through all the recipe details here, but in a nutshell you add whole wheat flour to the starter along with egg yolks, mix it up until it forms a nice ball (not much kneading necessary) and then let it sit for at least 8 hours or over night.  This allows the sourdough yeast to work it’s magic throughout the mix. I let mine rest overnight because I figured the longer it fermented, the better the dough would be for my health!  I also assumed it would be easier to roll it out, and I was right.

The next morning I was happy to see that my sourdough pasta dough had become spongy, which is a good thing. Sourdough is more digestible than standard bread and more nutritious, also. Lactic acids help neutralize the phylates in flour which can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. The acids also slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream, lowering the bread’s glycemic index, preventing insulin spikes. They also make the gluten in flour more digestible and less likely to cause food intolerance.

Rustic sourdough noodles

I love my pasta roller! It rolls out pasta in 10 different thicknesses and does a much better job than I can do with just a regular rolling pin!

I grabbed a handful of the dough and rolled it flat with my handy-dandy pasta machine. One important note when rolling sourdough through a pasta roller – make sure both sides are floured first!  If the dough is not floured, it will stick in the roller and make an epic mess! Haha – I know this well from experience! Of course, you can roll it out by hand. Once flattened, the pasta dough goes through the noodle cutter, which you can also do by hand. Waa Laa  – sourdough pasta noodles!  (waa laa means “there it is” in redneck French)

How to make noodles from sourdough

“Necessity is the mother of invention”, or in my case, “making do”!

But then, where to hang them to dry?  My dearest has already agreed to make me a pasta drying rack (thank you in advance, sweetheart), but what do I do now? Improvise! 😀  This large container with the wooden spoons laying across actually made a decent pasta dryer!

Don’t laugh, it works!

But I didn’t stop there.  Did you expect me to?

I bought a ravioli maker last year because it looked like it would be an easy way to make a lot of raviolis.  I got it on sale at Williams-Sonoma (free shipping also!) and when it came in the mail I had to set it aside because Christmas was coming, the goose was getting fat, and I had other things to do.

Today was the day to try it out.

First, I rolled out some of the sourdough pasta dough and got it pretty thin.  Then, I laid the pasta on top of the ravioli maker after it had been floured, and gently…  oh so very gently… pushed the dough into each depression.

Sourdough ravioli

After placing the dough on top of the ravioli maker, then pressing into each depression gently, I placed the filling into each and then covered with another layer of sourdough pasta.

Hmmm.  I got a couple of tears in the dough, but was able to patch them.  Then I filled each depression with a mixture of cooked chicken, some gouda and crimini mushrooms, all diced very small to fit a good mixture into the pockets.

Making ravioli with sourdough pasta

This was Mmmm Mmmm good! A light bechamel sauce with mozarella topped the ravioli quite well!

Next, another sheet of pasta was rolled out and placed on top of the first!  Then, all I had to do was take a wooden roller (included with the ravioli maker) and roll over the top, and – presto – ravioli!

I can see how I could spend an hour making a lot of raviolis and freeze them for several meals later in the month.  After-all, once you have all the equipment out and everything is coated in a fine dust of flour 😉 , you may as well just get a bunch done!  Right?  Just remember to lay the ravioli on a parchment or waxed paper lined baking sheet and freeze for about an hour.  Once frozen, you can throw them into a freezer bag or other freezer container and they shouldn’t stick together.

How did they turn out?  Absolutely delicious!  What would I do different?  I think next time I will add a bit of sauce into the filling mixture so that it is more “full”.  The chunks of chicken and mushrooms and cheese had pockets of air between them after they were cooked.  Luckily, that didn’t effect the flavor, but I need to experiment just the same.

How to make ravioli with sourdough starter

Just for fun, I thought I would show you a few of the “fails”! Remember – flour, flour, flour!

Whew – what a day – actually almost two!  But look at what I accomplished – all done with Frank, my sourdough starter.

Frank?  Well, yes.  I name my cultures…  don’t you?  I decided to call him Frank because my specific culture is San Francisco Sourdough.  Francisco…  Frank… get it?  😀

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Orange Peel Candy

recipe for orange peel and chocolate candy

This is a section of our naval orange tree! It is absolutely loaded with sweet and juicy oranges.

When we sell our home and move up to our future homestead, the thing I will miss the most is our orange tree.  For the past 15 years (the tree is about 20 years old) we have been blessed with the sweetest, juciest and most abundant oranges one could ever wish for!  We did plant a Tango Mandarin in a large pot a couple of years ago and this year we will have our first actual harvest!

For years, our favorite dessert in the winter has been to sit down with 1/2 a Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar (yes, we share one bar) and a big, juicy orange.

One bite of orange, one bite of chocolate.

Repeat.

🙂

Recipe for candied orange peel and chocolate candy

A great book – lots of wonderful information and laugh out loud funny!

Over the holidays I read a new book I got from our library sale called The Quarter-Acre Farm – How I kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family for A Year.  This is a really good book. Spring Warren, the author, lives in Davis, California, which is smack dab in the middle of Northern California – not far from where I am living right now!  Her writing style is very humorous and I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit!

Anyway – in the book she gives a recipe for Candied Orange Peel dipped in Chocolate.  Holy Cannoli – this sounded like a recipe from heaven and I just had to try it! candied orange peel in chocolate

The first thing to do, of course, is peel your oranges.  The recipe calls for the peel of six oranges…. no problem.  😀  I peeled mine in strips, then scraped most, but not all of the pith off.  The pith is where a lot of nutrients are, and since the peel is being candied, the pith won’t taste so…  well…  pithy.

chocolate covered candied orange peelThe next step is to place the orange peels in a pot, cover with water, boil, drain, boil again, drain and boil once more for a total of 3 times.  I guess this is to get a lot of the oils out of the peel (which can be bitter) and also to soften the peels a bit.  Then, I added about two cups of water and one cup of sugar to the pot, placed in the boiled orange peels, set the pot on the stove at the lowest simmer, and let it simmer for about an hour.

The author warns not to stir the orange peels while they are in the sugar solution or sugar crystals might precipitate on the peel.  You don’t want that.

How to candy orange peel

Then, either set out on parchment paper to dry or place in a dehydrator.  Either way, the orange peels will still be a bit tacky when dry (because of the sugar) but when you bite into them, they taste like a burst of orange flavor!  So good!  The texture is somewhat like a gummy bear, but a bit softer.  And they are translucent!  We almost ate all of the orange slices as they were!

The dehydrator pictured hererecipe for candied orange peel was given to Ray and I a few weeks ago by a wonderful couple, my daughter-in-law Wendy’s parents!  Jack and Donna are two of the most positive and kind people I know. They are always quick to lend a hand and I have always enjoyed spending time with them. I am so glad our son blessed us with Wendy and her family. However, these past few months have seen some trying times for the two, and if you have a moment, Jack needs some special prayer and good thoughts sent his way. Thanks.

As you can see, I also dried some bananas!

candied orange peel in chocolateNow to dip the now candied orange peel in chocolate (the ones that are left!) for the ultimate yum!  After heating some dark chocolate chips in the microwave to melt the chocolate, I dipped each piece and laid it on parchment paper.  I also dipped the banana chips.  I took the banana chips out of the dehydrator before they were totally done, so that they were still pliable and not crunchy.

Now doesn’t that look good!  Let me explain to you how good these are.

Well…  You see…  Hmmm…   No words can describe how good these are! 🙂

And to think I used to throw the orange peel in the compost pile!!!

orange peel and chocolate candy

Now that it’s orange season again, I hope you try this recipe!  Even if you don’t eat too many oranges, save the peel in the refrigerator (scrape off some of the pith first) in a fairly airtight container, and when you have enough you can try this.  You won’t be sorry!  I’m thinking of doing the same thing with lemon peel.  I wonder if it will be as good?

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I am going to these parties:   Meet Up MondayThank Goodness It’s MondayHomestead Barn Hop; Clever Chicks Blog Hop; Homemade Mondays;  Grand Social; Mix It Up Monday; Create, Link, Inspire;  Amaze Me MondayMotivation Monday; Inspiration Monday; Made By You Monday; Homemaking Mondays; Mum-bo Monday; The Backyard Farming Connection Hop; Show & Share Tuesday; The Gathering Spot; Tuesday Garden Party; Brag About ItTuesdays with a Twist; The Scoop; Two Cup Tuesday; Tweak It Tuesday; Inspire Me Tuesdays;Tuesdays at Our Home; Turn It Up Tuesday; Pinterest Foodie; Lou Lou GirlsInspire Us Tuesday; Party In Your PJ’s; Make, Bake and CreateDown Home Blog HopWildcrafting Wednesday;  Wicked Awesome Wednesday;Whatever goes Wednesday; Show and Share Wednesday; Wined Down Wednesday; What We Accomplished;  Project ParadeWake Up Wednesday; Fluster’s Creative Muster; Hump Day Happenings; Homestead Blog Hop; The Blogger’s Digest; Wow Us Wednesday; Turn To Shine; The HomeAcre Hop; Share Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden Thursday;  The Handmade HangoutCreate it Thursday;  Think Tank Thursday; Green Thumb Thursday; Homemaking Party; Treasure Hunt Thursday; All Things Thursday Inspire Us Thursday; Inspire or be Inspired; Project Parade; Inspiration Gallery; Pure Blog Love; Freedom Fridays; Friendship Friday; From The Farm Blog Hop; Eat, Create, PartyPinworthy Projects PartyFarmgirl Friday;  Friday Flash Blog Party; Weekend re-Treat; Family Fun Friday; Friday’s Five Features; Real Food Fridays; Friday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired Weekend; Anything Goes Linky; Show Off Friday; Craft Frenzy FridayFront Porch Friday; No Rules Weekend Party; Friday Favorites; Giggles Galore; Say G’Day SaturdaySuper Saturday; Simply Natural Saturdays; Strut Your Stuff Saturday; Saturday Sparks;  Show and Tell Saturday;  My Favorite Things;  Dare to Share; Scraptastic Saturday; Frugal Crafty Home; That DIY Party; Nifty Thrifty Sunday; DIY Sunday Showcase; Snickerdoodle Sunday;  Simple Life Sunday; Think Pink Sunday; Sunday Showcase

 

Rebatching Soap

If you have known me for a while, you know how frugal I am.  I don’t just pinch pennies, I crush them!  So, when I found out that you can take small slivers of soap, grate them up, melt them down, and make bath sized bars of soap again, I decided to dive right in.  You know that old saying “everything old is new again”?  Well, this is yet another example, because this is exactly what our forefathers (ahem, foremothers) used to do!

I did a lot of research to find out the best method to do this.  Apparently you can re-melt the soap on the stove, in a crockpot, in the microwave or in the oven.  I’m sure you could also melt soap in a barbecue, but thank goodness I didn’t see a tutorial on that one or I would have tried it!

Seriously, I would have. 🙂

After several tries, I think I have found the easiest and simplest method… for me, at least.

how to rebatch soap

A loaf of rebatched soap before being cut into bars. Isn’t it pretty?

Before any of you send me nasty e-mails or curse my first born son about the kind of soap I am using, I am going to add this disclaimer:

“I, Vickie, being of sound mind and body, do solemnly swear that I understand the health implications of using commercially prepared soaps containing caustic and poisonous chemicals and substances which potentially could be damaging to my health”.

That being said, read the first sentence of this post again. 🙂

It’s the same peril when you get a borer in your fruit tree.  If you spray the tree with insecticide, then the fruit can no longer be considered organic.  But if you don’t spray, the tree will die and you will therefore have no fruit!  I prefer to be organic, but that being said, I like to eat also!

Because of the peril that commercial soaps carry, I have recently begun to make my own soaps using home rendered lard and tallow, organic olive oil and coconut oil and pure essential oils.  You can see those posts by clicking on the tab above labeled soapmaking.  So, I hope to think that my penance will soon be paid and any future re-batching will be done with my home-made, totally organic, skin loving soaps.  I promise.

Enough said.

So, If you would like to venture into rebatching your used slivers of soap or even rebatching a bunch of those free soaps you get at the various motels and hotels you have visited, here is how I do it…

 

How to make soap bars out of soap sliversFirst, weigh your slivers to find out how big your batch of soap will be so that you can chose the appropriate mold.  This batch is about 2 pounds (just shy), so I set the free end of my adjustable soap mold at the 2 pound mark and lined the mold with waxed paper. That is when I took the picture below.  But then, mid shred, I found a bit more soap, so I reset the mold at the 3 pound mark but added one block on the inside because my batch was larger than two pounds, but certainly not three pounds. I forgot to take another picture of the mold with just the waxed paper rebatching commercial soap lining it in the three pound plus block position (wow, doesn’t that sound technical!), but you can see what it looks like in the picture below with the soap in the mold. The block is another adjustable end, so if I wanted to I could make two batches of soap at one time.  My husband made this mold for me (he is so clever and handy), and if you would like to see how to make one, go HERE.

making new soap out of old soapNext, either chop, shred, grind or grate your soap.  You want the pieces to be as small as possible.  You can use your cheese grater, your food processor or a cutting board and sharp knife.  The process is a bit tough on my old food processor and I found it to be just as fast and easy using old fashioned elbow grease, a good knife and a cutting board.

Pour the chopped/shredded/ground soap into a heavy bottomed, oven proof saucepan, then place on the stove on low.  I have found that if I start the process on the stove, I can tell if I need to add some more water or not.  With almost two pounds of soap, I started out with 1/2 cup of water.  This seemed to be sufficient because I saw the soap starting to melt on the bottom.  Be careful, though, because it isn’t hard to scorch the soap!  You are just jump starting the melting process at this point.  Once I can see that the soap is melting, I place the saucepan in the oven with a lid on at the lowest temperature your oven will allow.  Mine only goes down to 170 degrees.  After 1/2 hour, stir the soap and assess whether you will need more water or not.  I added just a bit more soap at this point, and the mixture seemed a bit dry, so I added another 1/4 cup of water.  You don’t want to add too much water at this point.  It won’t really hurt anything, but it will take longer for the bars to dry out and be sufficiently hard enough to use!how to make soap out of old soap

The soap was put back into the oven for another 1/2 hour.  At this point I had a fairly loose slurry of soap with small chunks interspersed, which I thought looked really cool, so I went ahead and glopped the soap into my soap mold.rebatched commercial soap

Yes, glopped.  Rebatched soap won’t pour like home-made soap will.  It glops.  Which makes it a bit harder to put into the mold, smooth out the top or get any bubbles out.  No matter, because I’m not entering these bars into the county fair, for heaven’s sake!

If you don’t want to see little chunks of soap in your final rebatched bars (I think it’s pretty, but to each his or her own), you can continue to melt and stir the soap in the oven, but depending on how small you got your chunks/shreds/pieces of soap, you may or may not be successful in getting a completely smooth, one color, no chunk bar of soap.

how to make old soap into new bars of soapLet your soap cool and re-harden in the mold for a day or so, then cut and use.  Unlike home-made soap, you don’t have to wait for re-batched soap to cure because the soap has already gone through the curing process  back when it was manufactured.  However, if you want to rebatch home-made soap that has not fully cured, you should either wait until the curing process (saponification) has been completed before you proceed, or make sure you let the soap cure again until it reaches a pH of 8.5 or less.

There you have it.  Rebatched soap.

I did a little calculating with this batch of soap.  The rebatched soap  was approximately 2 pounds and cost elbow grease and a little bit of energy, but certainly less energy than it would cost in gas to run to the store.  At Walmart, if I were to purchase about the same amount and same kind of soap, online it shows an 8 pack of 3.75 ounce bars (a couple ounces less than 2 pounds) of Irish Spring for $ 3.75

So, essentially I saved $3.75.  Yes, I agree, that’s not so much.  But it was fun and I had an hour to kill.  Plus…  I like to pinch pennies!how to make new soap from old

Actually, this is one of those skills that is good to know.  It’s not uncommon for soap makers to rebatch their botched batches of soap!  Say that one three times!  If a soap maker discovers that not enough lye was used, the fragrance was a bit off, etc., rebatching can save the cost of making the soap.

Oh, I forgot to mention something.  In case you were wondering…  no, rebatching used soap is NOT going to spread germs.  Period.  Most viruses are killed by 108 degree fahrenheit temperatures.  That’s why our bodies get a fever when we are sick!  And as any cook knows, pretty much all bacteria are toast when they reach 160 degrees fahrenheit. When you melt your soap in a 170-ish degree oven, all of that is taken care of!

So, what do you think?  Would you ever rebatch soap?

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